03 March 2011 10:19 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Malaysia’s Petronas posted an operating profit of $1.19bn for its downstream segment for the quarter ended 31 December last year, versus $448m (€323m) in the same period a year earlier, on the back of higher sales volumes, the oil and gas major said late on Wednesday.
Revenue for the quarter surged 41.1% year on year to $11.2bn, primarily due to higher sales volumes and realised prices of crude oil, petroleum products and petrochemicals, the state-controlled firm said in a quarterly report.
The petrochemical sales volume increased by 13.3% year on year during the October-December period to 1.7m tonnes on the back of recovering industry demand and additional volume from recently-acquired Polyethylene Malaysia, Petronas said.
The sales volume of petroleum products rose 0.6% year on year to 68.7m barrels, while the crude oil sales volume climbed 11.9% to 63.8m barrels on the back of higher trading activities during the quarter, the firm said.
“Operating profit was significantly higher compared to corresponding quarter in 2009 on the back of improved refining margin, positive inventory gains and higher margin recorded by the petrochemical business,” it added.
For the nine-month period ended 31 December last year, the downstream segment’s operating profit jumped 46.2% year on year to $2.12bn, while revenue rose 25.4% to $30.1bn.
The surge in operating profit resulted from higher contribution from the company’s oil business because of improved refining margins, as well as higher margins recorded by its petrochemical business, Petronas added.
The petrochemical sales volume in the nine-month period rose 8.9% year on year to 4.9m tonnes, mainly due to higher production and additional volume from newly acquired subsidiaries, Optimal Chemicals and Polyethylene Malaysia, the company said.
Petronas’s overall pre-tax profit for the nine-month period, meanwhile, rose 34.8% year on year to Malaysian ringgit (M$) 30.1bn ($9.90bn), while revenue increased 15.8% to M$175.6bn, according to a report by state news agency Bernama on Wednesday.($1 = €0.72, $1 = M$3.04)
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